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Supply Chain News: Procurement Managers Must Embrace Corporate Social Responsibility, Nestle CPO Says

 

Companies Embracing CSR in Procurement also Attractive to Millenials, Beddoe Says

 

May 10, 2018
SCDigest Editorial Staff

Corporate Social Responsibility – which generally moves way beyond basic sustainability initiatives – is something of a megatrend, especially in the consumer package goods arena, where companies such as Unilever are taking major actions to make the world a better place.

Supply Chain Digest Says...

Nestle rival Unilever has been equally aggressive in CSR, launching for example what it calls "Brands with Purpose."

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Obviously, procurement is at the center of most CSR programs, but it needs to go beyond basic support for the corporate program - buyers need to take individual responsibility for their business's corporate social responsibility goals.

So says Matt Beddoe, who heads procurement at food giant Nestle, as reported in the UK's SupplyManagement.com web site.

"I could, as Nestle, cite our cocoa plan, or our coffee plan and the social enterprise that goes with that. That's part of our global procurement function and it's something that I am proud to work for and it makes me feel good about procurement," Beddoe said at the recent

"But I think it' s more about what we can do as individuals within that, and how my team can do things that change things." Procurious Big Ideas Summit in London

In fact, Beddoe said he works for Nestle largely because of its purpose as a business. "It's not because I work for procurement first, I work for Nestle first," he said.

Beddoe added that "I don't think it [CSR] is necessarily a procurement challenge, I think it's about how procurement can support, and also bring new things to the party, to develop those greater purposes."

Beddoe cited an example of how procurement is contributing to Nestle's CSR goals, involving a program to support young dairy farmers in the supply chain.

Over the last two years the team has been working with eight farmers who are starting out in their careers, helping to educate them on financial responsibility, best farming practices and looking at how they work with the firm's supply chain.

"It doesn't cost a huge amount of money, it costs a lot of time and effort and an inclination, but that's because we want to do it and it's the right thing to do," Beddoe noted.


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It is often reported that millennials especially want to work at companies and jobs that have a real purpose, and Beddoe agree and says Nestle is seeing the results.

The focus on CSR has also made procurement a more attractive place for young Nestle recruits, said Beddoe.

"It's about how we make it relate to our market and how it inspires people, and now I get a lot of particularly commercial apprentices and graduates wanting to work in procurement because they see it as an attractive place" he said at the conference.

Beddoe added that "It's about what we can do as individuals and how we make it real. We can talk about the corporate things – and we do do them, it's not greenwash – but personally, what am I doing to make a difference, is the most important thing."

Rival Unilever has been equally aggressive in CSR, launching for example what it calls "Brands with Purpose," about which it says "By putting purpose at the heart of our brands we can move from marketing to consumers to mattering to people. Purpose-led brands will drive growth for our business, connect us with our consumers and deliver a positive social impact."

SCDigest notes this is all good, but most procurement organizations lack real frameworks for how such decisions driven by CSR should made.


How should procurement managers approach CSR? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback section below.

 

Your Comments/Feedback

Carl

Helping Procurement talent, Hireo
Posted on: May, 15 2018
Great insights!  I full agree with Matt's approach, he is working for company first and not procurement. It is the right approach for procurement to better engage and add value to the overall function.
 
Procurement can easily elevate it's value by aligning it's objectives with the organization goals. Whether it is CSR or improving end user experience, it all leads to better procurement stakeholder management, now whether that is internal stakeholder or external suppliers.


 
 
 

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